Health & Wellness

CBD Shows Potential as an Antibiotic

By Harris Wheless

Infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria affect over 2 million people in the U.S. each year, a trend that doesn’t show any signs of abating. In 2015, the World Health Organization called antibiotic resistance “a global health crisis,” and warned of the threat of bacteria becoming uncontrollable by existing means. Scientists say this was brought on by overuse of antibiotics, which has allowed the germs to develop resistance mechanisms. In fact, bacteria are now becoming resistant at a faster pace than antibiotics are being introduced. So, scientists are beginning to look for other plans of attack.

Last year, the U.S. legalized production of industrial hemp—the form of cannabis with low THC levels from which CBD is often derived. And it was not the first country to do so. So far, 21 countries have legalized hemp cultivation on a federal level. It’s legal throughout much of Europe and South America, and in many countries is not considered a controlled substance.

As cannabis laws change, more research is being done on the potential health benefits of CBD. According to a new study done by scientists in Australia, CBD may have antibiotic capabilities. The findings were recently presented at the annual conference of the American Society for Microbiology, ASM Microbe 2019 held in San Francisco. The research is still in its early stages, but with continued investigation, experts may one day be able to use CBD as the basis for a drug that could change the way we fight infectious diseases.

What did we learn from the study?

The researchers tested the success rate of CBD in killing different strains of bacteria using test tubes and animal models. CBD was found to be only selectively effective in this capacity, killing gram-positive bacteria but not gram-negative. In general, scientists have found gram-negative bacteria to be the more resistant of the two. Gram-positive bacteria can cause serious skin infections and pneumonia, while gram-negative bacteria include E. coli and salmonella.

In the study, the researchers compared the success of CBD against common antibiotics like vancomycin. They found that in the test tube portion of the study CBD was able to kill gram-positive bacteria within three hours, while vancomycin often takes six to eight.

Perhaps most importantly, CBD was found to be much less likely to cause resistance than existing antibiotics. Even after being exposed to CBD for 20 days—the period of time bacteria can survive some existing antibiotics—the bacteria did not become resistant. When tested on mice, a topical CBD was applied to treat a skin infection, and while able to cut the number of bacteria down after 48 hours, it did not clear the infection.

What impact will this have?

The study, funded by Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and the Australian government, shows strong evidence of CBD’s antibiotic capabilities but should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. As researchers admitted, the results indicate that CBD can be effective against bacteria, but they still don’t understand the way it works, and not enough research has been done to prove anything.

Study lead author Mark Blaskovich, of The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s Centre for Superbug Solutions in Brisbane, Australia, told Live Science a lot more work needs to be done before CBD can be used to treat infections in humans.

“It would be very dangerous to try to treat a serious infection with cannabidiol instead of one of the tried and tested antibiotics,” Blaskovich said.

Continued investigation of CBD’s potential as an antibiotic may yield fruitful results somewhere down the road. But CBD should by no means be considered an effective form of self-treatment against infections. Existing medications that have been approved by the FDA to treat such conditions should still be used against serious infections.

Keep Learning

Holiday Stress

Where can I find Pumpkin Spice CBD Oil?

Learn more about the many benefits of Echinacea, how it works, and any potential side effects you might experience when using this herbal extract.

Health & Wellness

Is Clary Sage Essential Oil the Best for Women’s Health?

Looking for relief from women’s health problems? Discover the benefits of clary sage essential oil for your stress levels, hormones, menstrual pain and more.

Fitness & Nutrition

A List of Notable Athletes that Support (and Use) CBD

Anyone can use CBD, but athletes are especially receptive to its many benefits. Learn why these famous athletes endorse CBD, and what they use it for.

Health & Wellness

Americans Are More Interested in CBD than Other Natural Health Options

One thing we can tell from common Google searches is that people are interested in CBD, and that interest continues to outpace other natural health alternatives.

Fitness & Nutrition

How to Feel 20 Years Younger…The Natural Way

Do you suffer with joint pain and limited mobility caused by aging? Learn more about how you can naturally alleviate these issues with certain wellness supplements.

Fitness & Nutrition

Health Benefits of MCT Oil vs Coconut Oil

MCT oil and coconut oil are both good sources of energy. Learn more about the similarities and differences of each oil, and their benefits.

Health & Wellness

Six Ways To Have A More Focused, Productive Work Week

Everyone struggles to maintain energy, focus, and a positive attitude at work. Try something new to readjust your work week with these six tips.

CBD Reviews

The 8 Best CBD Gummies

Are CBD gummies right for you? We’ll explain how these tasty treats work so you can be confident in choosing a product that’s right for you.

Health & Wellness

Best Vitamins for Hair Growth (and Other Essential Nutrients)

Hair cells, which are some of the fastest growing cells in our bodies, require a lot of nutrients. Here are some vitamins that would be good additions to your hair care routine.

By continuing to browse or by clicking “OK” you agree to the storing of first- and third-party cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. Privacy Policy.